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BLOG: Ode to a Laptop

As we quickly approach the Holidays, allow me to remind everyone what great gifts books make. Reading is healthy, it's relaxing, and educational. Be sure to consider local authors when you're planning your gift list this year.

For those of you in the Roanoke, VA area, I will be signing my books at Book No Further on the Roanoke Market on Saturday, December 3 from 11am-2pm. Come on down and say hello. I'll be there with author Amanda Cockrell (Damion Hunter), who also writes Roman historical fiction. We'd love to see your smiling faces!

Today, I'd like to share my love for the workhorse that saw me through the Antonius Trilogy. Seven years ago, it was time for me to replace my laptop. I selected an HP Envy and had no regrets. This machine was with me literally all over the world, and to some pretty exciting author events, too. My Envy was my happy place, a spot where I've had revelations about what storyline to follow while writing, and the keyboard where I've typed out my dreams and aspirations. It's been the very place where I've connected with readers (all of YOU), where I've learned the ins and outs of social media, and where I shed a few tears when plunking out "THE END" at the finale of Soldier of Fate.

Though some of you might consider this to be a silly subject for a post--one unworthy of my time or efforts, my laptop was a trusted old friend--like a grandfather's rusted jalopy that may have coffee stains soaked into the carpet and brittle-thin plastic coating on the stick-shift, but to Grandpa, it's worth his very life.

Memories are embedded into that laptop. It's the very place where a rich and beloved friendship began with best-selling author Margaret George--a relationship full of treasured mentoring, support, and advice. It successfully conveyed every email between my editor and me as I learned how to build a trilogy. Why, this crazy machine enabled me to create author presentations, helping to teach other writers how to become published and delve deeper into craft. It housed photos of various trips I've taken, including those to Historical Novel Society conferences, where I've met and reveled in the joy of writing; all the while, rubbing shoulders with Kate Quinn and Stephanie Dray.

As I'm writing this, I now turn to the "lasts", including this blog being the final one on this laptop. I work on blog posts every weekend, getting them ready to send to all of you on Thursdays. There's always been plenty of frenzied typing and research awaiting me on Sunday afternoons, as I charge into the final homestretch of the weekend. My current project is also the last manuscript to be developed on this motherboard of creativity and words, and the rest of the work will be completed on my new device.

Yes, now I have a new computer, plenty of new, wide-open space to experiment with paragraphs, chapters, and endings. Here's hoping they'll mostly be pleasant ones, compelling all of you to continue tuning into my blogs, excerpts, reviews, and interviews. Wish me luck as I open my manuscript files this weekend and begin anew on my brand, new laptop: Envy II.

Read on, everybody!

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